Positive homework behaviours

Positive homework behaviours is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What Works Best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

Homework refers to the time invested by students in learning and studying school subjects outside of school hours. Positive homework behaviours reflect engagement with schoolwork that extends beyond the classroom.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask students about their attitudes towards homework and their effort in completing it. The results are reported as the percentage of students with positive homework and studying behaviours.

Why is it important?

When employed effectively, homework is positively correlated with student achievement. It can help students to retain information, improve their study skills and demonstrate learning outside of school. Students are more likely to complete and benefit from homework when it is designed to meet specific purposes and goals.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme
Learning culture High expectations


Evidence base

Cooper, H., Robinson J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1-62.

Corno, L. (2000). Looking at homework differently. The Elementary School Journal, 100, 529-548.

Cosden, M., Morrison, G., Albanese, A. L., & Macias, S. (2001). When homework is not home work: After-school programs for homework assistance. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 211-221.

Epstein, J. L., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2001). More than minutes: Teachers' roles in designing homework. Educational Psychologist, 36(3), 181-193.

Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O., Schnyder, I., & Niggli, A. (2006). Predicting homework effort: Support for a domain specific, multilevel homework model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 438- 456.

Warton, P. M. (2001). The forgotten voices in homework: Views of students. Educational Psychologist, 36, 155–165.

Willms, J. D., Friesen, S., & Milton, P. (2009). Transforming classrooms through social, academic, and intellectual engagement. “What did you do in school today?” research series: Report number one. Toronto: Canadian Education Association.

Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar.

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.


  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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